21 Feb 2019
Engineering New Zealand has 17 branches around New Zealand and one in the United Kingdom. All our branches are chaired by engineers, who volunteer their time for Engineering New Zealand. Find out about Cameron Chapman, Chair of the Waikato Branch and his goals for the Branch in the coming year.
Why did you volunteer to be the Waikato Branch Chair?
I have been involved in group committees since university, so was naturally attracted to the local branch to provide my input and deliver results. The previous Chair indicated they were stepping down, so I looked to take on the challenge as Chair.
How would you describe the Waikato Branch in one sentence?
A great reflection of Engineering New Zealand; diverse geographically, diverse professions and diverse industries.
What are the priorities for the Waikato Branch in 2019?
Increase engagement with Branch members.
What types of events does the Waikato Branch run?
The Waikato Branch generally runs one event per month in Hamilton. Typically, they are site visits in the summer months and presentations on projects and interesting engineering research during the cooler months. Last year, we finished the year with a dinner and panel discussion with some of the city’s leaders, which proved very successful. We will look to continue this event and hope to make it bigger and better – and incorporate some awards to celebrate and recognise our members. We have included a dedicated member on the committee to represent Taupō so we can increase the engagement and events in the regional parts of our branch.
How does the Waikato Branch cater for members from different engineering disciplines?
The committee is aware that there are a lot of large civil and roading projects, which are easy topics for events. We are looking to focus some events this year onto the wider engineering disciplines but keep the detail at a high level, so everyone can engage.
How can employers and academics get involved in the Branch’s activities?
We are looking to get more companies to host/sponsor events this year, to enable them to engage with members and showcase their businesses. We have a reasonably good relationship with our tertiary institutions and look to continue including them for event topics.
What do you do in your day job?
I am the Network Innovation Engineer at WEL Networks in Hamilton, Waikato. This essentially entails developing methods for the established electrical distribution business to incorporate emerging technologies such as solar panels, storage batteries and electric vehicles. I develop and manage projects to establish understanding of the technology and provide solutions for the business to implement in day-to-day engineering.
What do you do in your spare time?
I like boarding – in summer time that means wakeboarding, winter time snowboarding. I have also been known to don skis of both varieties as well. When time and conditions permit, I also get out and do some hunting and gathering. Fishing is one of my favourites, but I also enjoy the occasional search in the bush.